Dark Souls 3 Dev Regrets How They Handled The Game’s Controversial Poise Stat

Dark Souls 3 Dev Regrets How They Handled The Game’s Controversial Poise Stat

Few things have frustrated the Dark Souls 3 community in the past few months as the ongoing debate over what the game’s “poise” stat does. While I don’t have an answer to that question, I can pass on an apology from series director and From Software president Hidetaka Miyazaki. The Dark Souls games are intentionally mysterious, but From Software has made a frustrating habit of doubling down on this idea, to the point that players can’t always comprehend how basic game mechanics work. In previous games, upgrading the poise stat meant players could take hits without staggering. In Dark Souls 3, it has zero influence on staggering, despite many elements in the game suggesting that’s what it does.

Here’s how that plays out:

Video Credit: SteamBoy27

See how the player keeps getting knocked around, despite wearing heavy armour meant to enhance poise? It’d be fine if From Software altered the way poise works for Dark Souls 3, but it’d be helpful for players to know!

Instead of just explaining how things work, however, From Software has kept players in the dark. In May, publisher Bandai Namco passed on my questions about poise to developer From Software, and I was told everything was working “as intended”. This made fans doubly upset.

“The poise stat is working as intended and is not ‘turned off’ as some fans have theorised,” a spokesperson for Bandai Namco told me. “The stat works differently than in past games and is more situational, which seems to be the reason for the confusion.”


Recently, I was given an opportunity to email a set of questions to series director Hidetaka Miyazaki — stay tuned for more on that later this week — and I asked him about his studio’s lack of communication regarding poise.

“This isn’t something we are particularly proud of,” said Miyazaki. “With how things are handled now, it can be improved and this is an agenda item we’ll be working on in the future.”

I’d hoped Miyazaki would elaborate on what poise is in response to my question! He, uh, did not. The debate continues, but hopefully this signals From Software is learning that being vague isn’t always the right move.


  • We know what Poise does. Having high poise increases your resistance to staggering from hits while using an attack that has hyper armour.

    • Not in Dark Souls 3. In every other souls game that’s what it did, but in DS3 it seems to have something to do with your iframes while rolling.

    • As far as I know, poise does not work. Hyper armor is like I-frames. There are certain frames in which hyper armour is on and you cannot be staggered. It’s either on or off. Poise has no effect on it.

    • Unless what the community haa discovered has changed in the past 2 months, no it does not. Last I heard they were talking about it increase vulnerability frames after taking hits during rolls

      • The community has discovered what it does, and it does exactly what I said.

        Previously poise increased your resistance to staggering with or without hyper armour.
        The change they made to poise in Dark Souls 3 means that you need to be in the active hyper armour frames of an attack that has hyper armour. This has been tested extensively by tallbeardedone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3v3fi804W0I

        It’s important to note that not all attacks have hyper armour, and that each weapon attack with hyper armour has a different level of resistance to stagger, and that weapons have differing levels of poise damage. The Black Knight weapons do some of the most poise damage.

        The more poise you have, the more poise damage you can continue your attack through.

  • People found a flag in the code that turns poise on and off, there is no other explanation.
    Its turned off, whether by design or mistake, it currently does nothing

    Theres no it works differently then previous games, they didnt modifiy it to only work in certain situations, its not tied to armour class and iframes, its simply turned off.

    Perhaps poise was extremely broken for either the player or the enemies, and it was too much hassle to recode it. Whatever the reason, its a similar story to weapon degradation being tied to FPS, that was working as intended as well…

    • Incorrect. The correct answer was posted in an earlier comment by nofacej.

  • Lemme summarize what Miyazaki basically said:
    “We kinda regret, no wait, actually we don’t. So STFU and just keep playing.”
    That’s how I read.

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